Hermes Law

News From the Office

Susskind Tomorrow’s Lawyers Summary

Below are the notes from our friend Lorenzo Berenger. Lorenzo has been in the claims business for over 30 years. Starting out as a first line claims person and evolving to Global Head of Vendor Relations for XL Catlin.

Source: «Tomorrow’s Lawyers», pub. 2013

p. Susskind comment LB comment
xiii «legal institutions» and «lawyers» are at a crossroads, poised to change radically over the next two decades. Bold statement:  needs validation(s).  Twenty-year period is important.
xiii Warning to elder statesmen in law firms:  “IT” particularly, and some of the other “transformations” are coming in the next “few” years Calls to the “young at heart”:  “legal” and “justice systems” should be modernized
xiv Identifies a “whole set” of “exciting new occupations” for tomorrow’s lawyers N/A
xiv Judges should introduce “virtual hearings” and “online” ADR This is part of controlling the costs of litigation
xv To meet the “needs of clients”, we will need to dispense with “much” of our current “cottage industry.”  “..massive upheaval..must happen now in in other professions.” Strong words (in bold)
xv Pervasive use of IT This is generally assumed, but in my view, generally underestimated
xvii Focus of book is largely, but not exclusively, civil work in commercial law firms N/A
xviii Wayne Gretzky analogy:  attorneys must focus on where the legal market will be. Excellent analogy:  I totally agree.
4 The “More-for Less” challenge (for General Counsel)= three problems:  1.  Reduce lawyers;  2. Reduce external legal spend; 3.  Undertake more legal and compliance work. I agree based on my own experience.
5 Small businesses and consumers (citizens) face the “More-for-Less” challenge. See above
5 Liberalization” is a second main driver of change; in England and Wales, “reserved” legal work is undertaken only by qualified lawyers. This is a narrower category than the “authorized practice of law” in the US. I see this as an important (macro) evolution in the marketplace.
6 In England and Wales, calls for liberalization were answered in 2004 with the Clementi Report, which led directly to the “Legal Services Act” of 2007, which (inter alia) permits the set-up of ABSs (alternative business structures). E.g. non-lawyers can own and run legal businesses. As immediately above.
10 IT:  many lawyers grotesquely misunderstand IT’s trend and importance. I agree
11 Assuming Moore’s Law would hold, an average desktop computer (by 2020) would have same processing power as the human brain (i.e. 1018 calculations/second). Moore’s Law is not holding per Q2 2017; however, the author’s point is well-taken.
12 Cites example of Twitter, as “irrational rejectionism,” the dogmatic and visceral dismissal of a technology I agree
13 The challenge is to “innovate”, to practice law in ways that we would not have done in the past I agree
16 Lawyers charge for their input and not their output.  “Hourly billing is an institutionalized disincentive to efficacy.” In my view, the first point can be argued.  I agree that the opportunity for inefficacy is provided.
17 40% of law firms are run by solo practitioners Author does not provide source (for the 40%)
21 Much compliance work is administrative and non-competitive (i.e. there is duplicative, costly effort, which is massive and unnecessarily costly. I agree
31 The conduct of litigation can be divided into nine tasks (see table 4.1). Of these tasks, and as example, project management is a significant discipline in its own right (cites the US-based international law firm, Orrick, which has moved some of its legal work to less-costly locations). I agree
37 Cites “LawPivot” (now Rocket Lawyer) as a platform that allows people to ask questions publicly. I see this service as a positive development
40 Cites a table of 13 disruptive technologies (see table 5.1) I agree
45 Cornell University Law School publishes law online at no charge (to help people understand legal issues) I agree this is a good example
45 Legal OnRamp (now “Elevate Services”) is a collaboration system for in-house counsel. Checking the website, I found that Elevate is offering a range of services for law firms and law departments (e.g. e-billing, HR support, IT, etc).
53 “Cost pressures” are a reality:  and wise for a law firm to think how it should be more cost efficient. I agree
67 Tomorrow’s lawyers will need to be more “in-tune” with tomorrow’s clients (i.e. as opposed to what many lawyers do, today, which is to pontificate and fail to listen) I agree
69 The More-For-Less challenge will require routine and repetitive legal tasks to be outsourced. I agree
71 Some in-house lawyers are asking firms to bid against one another I support this approach, recognizing it is far from palatable, today, for most law firms.
75 The world’s leading 100 law firms are sustained very largely by the world’s top 1,000 businesses: if and when GCs (general counsel) become radically more demanding, they will have the power to reshape this top echelon of firms. I agree
79 Most lawyers are in denial of the fundamental and structural changes within the legal marketplace I agree.  In the words of William Gibson, “the future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
80 Insurance online auctions for legal services will be used more frequently I agree
100 Virtual hearings will become commonplace in due course I agree
113 I expect lawyers to extend their capabilities by becoming increasingly multidisciplinary (e.g. strategists, management consultants, business advisers, market experts, etc.), with expertise beyond the black letter law. I agree
125 Law firms and in-House lawyers will increasingly allocate decomposed tasks I agree
128 Clearspire (apparently shut down in 2014).  May re-deploy its custom-built platform, “Coral.” Refer to ABA journal, May 1 2015. “Clearspire Redux: The law firm is dead—long live its technology.”
150 The running themesof this book:  more-for-less pressure, liberalization, and technology. Agreed.
153 An interesting question to ask a law firm:  “What is the formal process by which your firm monitors emerging technologies and evaluates their potential for your various practice areas?” Few firms have such a process
158 Author uses analogy about whole in the wall (i.e. photograph of a gleaming power drill), to remind reader about the whole in the legal world.  The questions are:  what value, what benefits, do clients really seek when they instruct lawyers? I agree
163 George Bernard Shaw’s quote:  “all professions are conspiracies against the laity.” The author observes two distinct camps (in the legal industry):  the benevolent custodians and the jealous guards. I agree
163 Author is vocal against those in the legal community whose primary concern is themselves and threats to their income and self-esteem. I agree
164 Author implorestomorrow’s lawyers to take the “mantle of the benevolent custodians.” As the author suggests, it is not the purpose of law to keep lawyers in business.
164 Author uses quote from Alan Kay:  “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  This is a powerful message for tomorrow’s lawyers. This point/principle is certainly valid across a variety of industries.
165 Author’s final words to young lawyers:  “you are on your own:  forge new paths for the law.” Logical ending to the book.


New Team Members: Nathan Shackelford and Ryan Brown

Hermes Law, a diverse team of professionals committed to stellar service and legal representation for clients and cases impacting the insurance and risk industry, recently added to its team of attorneys with the hiring of Nathan Shackelford and Ryan Brown.

Mr. Shackelford earned his earned his Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He is a member in good standing with State Bar of Texas, as well as federal courts in Texas, including bankruptcy courts and the 5th Circuit. His practice at Hermes Law will focus on the practice areas of Commercial Litigation, Transportation Law, Premises Liability and Dram Shop.

Mr. Brown earned his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the Michigan State University College of Law and is a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas. The focus of his practice at Hermes Law will be in the areas of Products Liability and Commercial Litigation. In addition to his work at Hermes Law, he serves on two committees for the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and is a goalie director for the Dallas Stars youth hockey program.

“At Hermes, we talk about moving law forward. That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires the right people who understand our mission of utilizing technology and a team approach to problem solving that result in excellent client service,” said Dwayne Hermes, founder of Hermes Law. “Nathan and Ryan are two younger attorneys who exemplify what we’re trying to do here and we’re delighted to have them on our team.”

Hermes Law represents commercial clients on insurance-related cases in the areas of Appellate Law, Casualty, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Cyber Liability, Environmental Law, Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, Product Liability, Professional Liability and Transportation Law. To drive its client-centric approach in these areas, Hermes Law employs leading edge technology to automate case administration in a collaborative workspace fosters true collaboration and innovation. The end result is superior legal representation customized to meet and exceed the needs of the client.

Lloyds of London Market

Hermes Law, a diverse team of legal professionals providing legal services to clients in matters pertaining to the insurance and risk industry, recently hired Rebecca Side as its Lloyds of London and London Market Representative.

Rebecca Side named as Hermes Law’s Lloyds of London Market Representative

Based in London, Side will be responsible for developing new business from the Lloyd’s and London markets and will act as the firm’s London representative for U.K.-based Clients.

“Our firm embraces technology perhaps as much or more than any other, especially when it comes to improving case resolution quality. Yet, in many instances, technology is not a substitute for face-to-face. Having a professional of Rebecca’s caliber as our market representative gives the Firm a physical and professional presence in the Lloyd’s and London market that’s absolutely critical to our success,” said Dwayne Hermes, founder of Hermes Law.

Side previously worked for the Global Claims Management Company ‘Crawford and Company’ and the Lloyd’s Managing General Agent ‘Woodbrook’. Her experience covers many aspects of the insurance industry, including TPA management/review, claims handling, underwriting and compliance.

Adds Hermes, “Rebecca is fully conversant with the Lloyd’s Market protocols and procedures and with her extensive market knowledge will be taking Hermes Law to the next level of client commitment not only ensuring alignment of our services with clients’ needs but also compliance with the increasing demands for reporting from the regulatory bodies.”

Hermes Law represents commercial clients on insurance-related cases in the areas of Appellate Law, Casualty, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Cyber Liability, Environmental Law, Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Property and Transportation Law.